NEW ORLEANS — Clean has long been the place to see the latest equipment in the industry, but after-hours, it’s also the place where drycleaners get together to socialize and have fun. And this year’s show was no exception, as the two biggest industry associations and a solvent company threw cocktail receptions.
The National Cleaners Association (NCA) kicked the night off with an intimate reception at the Embassy Suites near New Orleans’ Morial Convention Center. About 75 members, well-wishers and friendly gate-crashers took advantage of an open bar and noshed, catching up with industry friends and NCA officials.
The Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI) held an expansive shindig at the Hotel Monteleone that was just slightly smaller than the anniversary bash it threw for the industry during Clean ’07. The drinks were flowing, and about 300 revelers mingled to the accompaniment of a live band. DLI officers, sponsors, members and suppliers snacked on hot and cold New Orleans-style appetizers, and not just a few soon hit the dancefloor to shake their moneymakers.
As the DLI party wound down, GreenEarth picked up the slack across the lobby with a huge reception of its own, mellowed only by the smooth New Orleans jazz combo providing background music. GreenEarth’s management team welcomed about 300 of the solvent’s users and other industry professionals with cocktails, mini-muffalettas and other New Orleans delicacies.
The reception wound down after 9 p.m., leaving revelers on their own to continue the festivities as they saw fit in New Orleans — which has no lack of options when it comes to dining and partying. Others, of course, considering the vastness of the show floor and the educational sessions ahead today, wisely retired for the evening.